District to join regional business program

Inter-Municipal Business Licensing program ending pilot project, District to join in 2016

The District of Kent hopes joining a regional program will help cut down on red tape and make it easier for businesses to thrive.

The Inter-Municipal Business Licensing (IMBL) program is a joint venture between multiple communities that allows a business to buy one home license and one for all the other member communities. The concept behind the plan is that many businesses such as the trades operate in many different communities and need to buy a business license for each one. That requirement leads to compliance issues and financial hardship for small businesses.

Agassiz-based Pete & Sons Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Ltd. does work in Chiliwack, Hope, Boston Bar, Abbotsford and Mission alongside Agassiz, for example.

“We’re all over the map,” explains owner Henny de Jong. She says while they have a business license that covers those other communities, it does not include Agassiz. de Jong says the District of Kent joining the IMBL program will make it easier for their business.

For others, the move by the District won’t have as much of an impact. Wouda’s Construction Ltd. focuses their business work on the District of Kent and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs. Harrison at this time is not looking to join the program, so Wouda’s still needs to buy a business license for Agassiz and a separate one for Harrison.

At the District of Kent Council meeting August 17, Darcey Kohuch, director of development services, presented the report to Council. He explained that the IMBL program began as a pilot project in 2013 with Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Surrey and Hope.

After a successful two years, the pilot project is coming to an end and Kohuch reported the member communities want to continue on as a permanent program. The District of Kent has now been invited to join in the IMBL program.

Council members voted in favour of joining the IMBL program. Councillor Sylvia Pranger was quick to lend her support.

“The whole object is to make it more business-friendly, with less red tape and bureaucracy,” said Pranger.

Mayor John Van Laerhoven said he likes that there is a choice in the program for business owners to participate or not, depending on the scope of their work.

Van Laerhoven said they had phone calls after the IMBL program was implemented elsewhere asking why the District wasn’t part of the program.

“At that time, people were disheartened we weren’t part of it,” he recalls, adding he was disappointed the District didn’t get to participate “right from the get-go.”

Now that Council has voted in favour of joining, staff are working to be ready to implement the program locally in time for 2016 business licensing.

Just Posted

Agassiz-Harrison Museum showcases refreshed galleries, exhibits

The museum opened for the season on the May long weekend

Chilliwack man urging drivers to follow rules of the road

‘People might think I’m stupid for doing this but it’s my life,’ says scooter operator

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

LETTER: Emergencies can wait on Sasquatch Mountain

Hemlock Valley resident Andy Ibbetson writes about his concerns on the new E-comm 911 service

Semi truck crashes into highway barrier cable near Chilliwack

Witnesses warning other drivers to watch for debris in other lanes

VIDEO: Quadriplegic man takes flight over Harrison Mills

Jim Ryan hasn’t moved his arms or legs for three years, but that didn’t stop him from paragliding

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read